Rebels finish regular season strong

Published 11:45 pm Friday, November 1, 2013


LAPLACE — As far as the idea of entering the playoffs on a roll goes, Riverside will probably take its results this week.
The Rebels bested two teams ranked in the top five of their respective classifications this week — and swept both, at that — toppling Central Catholic Wednesday, 25-12, 25-17 and 25-13 and Vandebilt Catholic Tuesday, 28-26, 25-22 and 25-21, taking both matches at home.
Those matches were the last of the regular season for Riverside (32-9), both non-district contests. The team’s scheduled home game with Westminster today has been cancelled.
“I’m definitely elated that we finished the regular season on a positive note,” said Riverside coach Chelsey Lucas-Nicholas. “When you beat two top five teams in a matter of two days, that’s a big accomplishment and our players should be proud. We’re definitely going into the playoffs on a positive note. Wins like this do nothing but help your team’s confidence.”
Against Central Catholic, Kendra Turner scored 25 kills and added five blocks. She also made 10 digs and served two aces. Dani Hebert made 25 assists while sister Toni Hebert made 21 assists. Jordan Duhon made 18 digs. Hailee Eldridge made five kills with four blocks.
Turner and Eldridge’s combined nine blocks was a big key to slowing an Eagles offense that brings some heavy hitters to the net.
“They can definitely hit the ball,” said Lucas-Nicholas. “Blocking was crucial. Our two middle blockers (Turner and Eldridge) did an outstanding job, especially. It took them out of their offense. We served very well, also, and that went a long way.”
Turner led RA against Vandebilt Catholic with 16 kills, six digs and two blocks. Eldridge made four kills with seven blocks. Toni Hebert had 25 assists with three kills and three aces. Duhon made 17 digs. Dani Hebert had 12 assists and served three aces. Cami Hymel served six aces and made three kills.
“Our offense was on point. We hit the ball very well,” said Lucas-Nicholas. “We blocked them well in this one, too. That’s one thing we’ve worked a ton on because once you get to the postseason, you’re seeing faster volleyball and tougher hitters.”
Riverside is expected to earn a high seed when postseason pairings are announced early next week. The Rebels will get the half-power point that goes to each district champion. After splitting the District 4-IV crown with Curtis, the Rebels earn the district’s official “first place” benefit due to a better victory margin over district foes than Curtis.